Why Jim Carrey’s I Love You Phillip Morris Still Hasn’t Found a Buyer


In December we brought you the first look at I Love You Phillip Morris, the flick that has Jim Carrey making out with cell mate Ewan McGregor. In January we brought you the rave reviewers Phillip Morris was receiving from its preview at Sudance, thanks to Carrey’s touching turn as a man who finds out later in life that not only is he gay, but he makes a great con artist. And then came February, and now March, and a funny thing has happened en route: I Love You Phillip Morris is still without a buyer. And it may forever stay that way.

Because producers, having tried to line up distribution for the past four weeks, have taken Phillips Morris off the market.

But it’s not just Carrey and McGregor’s vehicle that’s been sidelined, but other festival favorites including Paper Heart (starring Michael Cera), Brief Interviews with Hideous Men (from the recently dead David Foster Wallace), and The Greatest (starring Pierce Brosnan and Susan Sarandon) have all gone unsold, reports The Wrap.

But if audiences and critics loved Phillip Morris, why is it still unsold? Because distributors in a position to make an offer say they just can’t figure out who the paying movie-going audience will be to deliver a return on their investment. “According to producer Andrew Lazar, it is no longer on the market and the production company plans to announce a theatrical deal ‘very soon.’ But during the festival, the filmmakers said they intended to continue editing the film — turning its premiere into a de facto work-in-progress screening — so it remains unclear how the newer version will play. “

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  • Anthony in Nashville

    Sounds to me that despite the comments of the writers/directors, that it was seen as a “gay movie” and they are toning down the homo content.

    If it’s not a comedy or end up with dead gays, gay films have a difficult time getting into the mainstream.

  • Cam

    “””But if audiences and critics loved Phillip Morris, why is it still unsold? Because distributors in a position to make an offer say they just can’t figure out who the paying movie-going audience will be to deliver a return on their investment. “”””

    Gee, really? and who was the paying audience for “Brokeback Mountain” or “Milk”??

    can hollywood just cut the B.S. we all know that they are homophobic. Scream makes some money and for the next 3 years all we see are copycat funny/horror films, Brokeback makes double what Scream makes and yet years later we still haven’t had any gay movies come out of a major studio (Except Milk which is a docu-movie). Why wouldn’t hollywood copy a formula that made tons of money? They copy everything else….gee, scared of “the Gays” much hollywood?

  • Pragmatist

    @Cam: I’m not sure if I’d exactly blame it on Hollywood’s homophobia, per se. After all, a great, great percentage of power-shufflers in Hollywood are GLBT (if closeted, many of them).

    I think the real culprit is the industry’s disrespect for the intelligence of its customers — a disrespect, I must admit, that is often warranted. From what I’ve observed, there’s been a shift in consumer preferences toward weightier, more nuanced, and more artistic themes in film. And the offerings have met some of that demand. But look at the large number of positively vapid T&A + Explosions “blockbusters” that keep getting produced and distributed — and which keep flopping.

    IMHO, the industry just isn’t (as a whole) prepared to upgrade its image of the consumer just yet.

  • Gurlene

    The movie sounds good. However ANYTHING

  • Gurlene

    The movie sounds good. However anything with Jim Carrey or Keanu Reeves in it makes me think three or four times before I come out of my pocket to see it. Their latest movies all SUCKED.

    I think there are too many EXTREMELY wealthy gay, out of the closet men walking around for there not to be a studio churning out movies that make money. In other words, there should be a gay studio out there by now that makes more than movies that are aimed at a gay audience only.

    Get real people. We already saw what happened when a cable channel caters only to a gay audience. The audience turned out to be no different than the rest of the paying public. If it (the audience) gets bored, it moves on. But you still hang in there because sooner or later you will have a few hits.

    A studio needs deep pockets and there are enough wealthy gay men out there that as a group could make it work.

  • emb

    Possibly this is not homophobia at work. Possibly Jim Carrey continues to be dull and uninteresting when he’s not being manic and annoying, and everyone’s already seen Ewan McGregor naked in a zillion other movies so what’s the point? Rave reviews at Sundance are not particularly meaningful, given who goes to Sundance these days, and what a mainstream-posing-as-hip nonevent it’s become.

  • John from England(used to be just John but there are other John's)


    ALL of Hollywood is Gay but goddamn have I ever observed such a team of self haters…

  • scott

    As a viewer, I would consider seeing Ewan in a gay movie. Jim Carrey? Ummm…. Seriously, I really find him annoying and irritating. That would have to be a REALLY good movie with GREAT word of mouth for me to think about seeing him in ANY movie, much less a gay movie.

    As a buyer/distributor of movies… Idk. Jim Carrey hasn’t really had a hit in awhile, no? And Ewan is more art house. So, what will get people to see this movie. The content? I don’t think so. The director? Who is it? I want to make MONEY. And I don’t think this movie will do give me a good ROI.

  • Sebbe

    Direct to DVD please. Nobody needs to see this in the movie theater. Someone argued that Milk’s crows will go see it. Didn’t Milk only bring in like 35 million. That is considered a failure for a Jim Carrey movie. At least on DVD, you will get the gays and the Jim Carrey fans.

  • Chevy

    I’d be very interested to see Jim Carrey in this film. I think he’s a fine actor, when he’s not in comedy films. In fact, I think that he would be a better actor in straight films than he is in comedy, if he would concentrate on dramatic films. This is very courageous of him, to play a gay man. And McGregor is always interesting. I’d see him in just about anything. And I don’t care how many times he’s been naked in previous films, I still like to see him naked. And I think I’d died and gone to heaven if I saw Jim Carrey in a frontally nude scene. More power to ya, Jim! Hope you and Ewan get yourselves on the screens of America soon.

  • Sebbe

    Ewan has a few interesting movies coming up. I like him and wanted to see this movie just because of him.

    Even though he’s got better movies, I really like him in “The Island” LOL

  • osocubano

    I’d pay to not see Jim Carrey ever again.

  • Me

    I’d pay to bury you and let you there ’til you die for suffocation :)

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